I trekked across the parking lot at Epcot in the mid-day August heat with my two-year-old in tow.
Why were we attempting this feat?
Because my son uses Caprisun juice pouches like most kids use pacifiers or a security blanket. When he is tired, overwhelmed, scared, or maybe even bored, he asks for a juice.
Normally, this is no crisis. But that day was the final stretch of a six-day marathon at DIsney.
He was tired.
He was a bit overwhelmed.
He was a teeny bit bored because, while Epcot was awesome, he was too small to ride some of the attractions.
That meant he was cruising through our Caprisun supply faster than I anticipated and I was running out.
No fear, though! I had more in the minivan. Hence, my mid-day jaunt out to the parking lot.
We finally arrived, a hot, sweaty mess. I unlocked the van, plopped him on a seat and enjoyed a few seconds of air-conditioning while I pulled Caprisuns out of the cooler.
He promptly hopped into the front seat and pretended to drive.
Then, we walked back to the park and had a grand old time with our refilled Caprisun supply and a happy two-year-old.
But that’s when I began to fret.
Normally, any time my son climbs into the front seat of the minivan, he immediately turns on the lights. He has an auto-reflex with buttons.
See button. Push button.
So, we’re touring around Epcot and I’m wondering, “Did my son turn on the van lights? If he did, did I turn them off? Will the van battery be dead by the end of the day? Will we be stranded at Disney in the August heat? Will we be abandoned forever in an Epcot parking lot?”
My fretting began as a fairly reasonable question and quickly escalated to worries beyond proportion.
I had to get control.
After all, I’ve never been to Disney before. This was my big chance to enjoy the day with my family.
I could spend it relishing the moment.
Or I could spend it fretting over a hypothetical future.
It was my choice.
I considered the worst case scenario: He turned on the lights and I didn’t turn them off. The van battery is drained. We ask the Disney car-rescue people to jumpstart our van.
Would it be miserable?
Would I survive?
So, could I let it go?
Yes, I could.
At the end of the day, we found the minivan with its lights off. No crisis at all.
Had I spent the day worrying, I’d have wasted every joy-filled moment on a hypothetical that never happened.
The truth is, we have plenty of opportunities to fret in life and most of them are for naught.
We often worry over a future we’ll never face and circumstances we won’t even endure.
I certainly had a week full of chances to choose to fret or choose to trust.
Our cat became extremely ill just as we left for Disney. An odd warning light flicked on in our minivan just as we pulled into the first Disney parking lot. My husband’s car sat at a repair shop back home waiting for the mechanic’s verdict about brakes.
Fret, fret, fret. I could have done it all week long.
But God cared for us: Cars without the problems we expected, a cat who was better cared for than we could have even cared for him ourselves.
All those opportunities to worry became opportunities to trust Him and find the blessing of His grace and abundance.
During the week, I read Psalm 37 once again:
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
David was tempted to fret also, in his case over evildoers who seemed to get ahead.
But, like me, he had to discipline his vision.
Where was he looking? At circumstances? Hypothetical tragedies? At others?
No, he recaptured an eternal perspective. What truly matters in the light of heaven? (verse 2).
He focused on God: trusting Him, delighting in Him, and committing his ways to the Lord.
And then he chose to “do good.” He didn’t remain paralyzed by the fear and the fretting; he took one right and true step forward at a time and kept on moving closer to God.
We can do the same.